Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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BRENAN, WILLIAM -- Arrived in Texas in December, 1835, as is shown in the Headright Certificate issued to his name for one-third of a league of land by the Harrisburg County Board of Land Commissioners, April 12, 1838. The Certificate had been assigned by Mr. Brenan to Lorenzo Bowen. He was a member of Captain Samuel 0. Pettus' Company at Coleto. On March 27th he was marched out to be shot but escaped. The name "Wm. Brennan" is shown on the official San Jacinto rolls printed in a booklet in 1836, as a member of Captain William H. Patton's Company. Bounty Certificate No. 2599 was issued in the name of "William Brennan" for 1280 acres of land, March 10, 1838, due him for having served in the army of Texas from October 25, 1835 to October 25, 1836. The certificate had been assigned to Benjamin Fort Smith.

Mr. Brenan probably left Texas shortly after receiving his discharge from the army. This is indicated by the fact that he assigned his rights to his headright and bounty lands and did not claim the 640 acres for having participated in either the battle of Coleto or the battle of San Jacinto. Donation Certificates were not transferable.

Mr. Brenan was alive August 12, 1858 but his place of residence at that time is not stated in the files of the Court of Claims in the General Land Office. Philip Dagan, attorney for William Brenan applied for 640 acres of bounty and 640 of donation lands due Mr. "Brenan" for his services in the army of Texas. The claim was not followed to conclusion.

The following information regarding Mr. Brenan was furnished the compiler by Mr. Harbert Davenport:

"In corroborating Perry Davis' statement of his services and escape, the Auditor, J. W. Moody, wrote:

'William Brenuan also states he became acquainted with Perry Davis at Nacogdoches and went on in company with him to Laberdee and known he was in the service as stated by himself until detached for the relief of Captain King.

'Sworn to and subscribed the date above (Columbia 6th April, 1837.)'

but the attesting signature is 'Wm. Brenan.' (Comptrollers Military Service Record No. 874, State Library)

The services and death of Mariano Carbajal were proved, in the early summer of 1836, by the following certificate:

'This is to certify that the above mentioned Carabajal served under Col. Fannin and gallantly fought at the battle of Colleto, and was afterwards inhumanly and traitorously butchered at Goliad.

'Ben H. Holland
'Wm. Brenan
Those two made their escape from the massacre of Goliad

'Jack Shackelford, Late Cap
Red Rovers
(Comptroller's Military Service Record No. 693; Brigham's No. 246, State Library.)

Brenan's own pay as a soldier of Texas was drawn on the following certificates:
'No. 178 $92.81

'This certificate entitles William Brenan to ninety-two dollars eighty-one cents pay for eleven months eighteen days service in the company of New Orleans Greys in Texas Army, Velasco, Sept. 25, 1836.
'Geo. W. Poe
'Acting Paymaster General

'Paid fifty ($50.) Dollars on the within and chargd to the Gov't of Texas.
'McKlnney & Williams
'Pr. Jno N. Reed.'

'No. 763 $30.50

'This certificate entitles Wm.. Brenan to thirty-50/100 dollars for twelve months services from 25 October 1835 until October 25 1836 in Treasury (warrants 1836
'Columbia, Nov. 4, 1836
Geo. W. Poe
Acting Paymaster General'

'Columbia 4 November 1836, Recd from A. Brigham Auditor a draft on the treasury in my favor for seventy-two dollars 86 cents in full for the annexed instruments being the balance on the two annexed certificates after deducting fifty dollars for merchandise received from McKinney & Williams, Quintana, on an order from the Government by President Burnett.
'75.86 Wm. Brenan'

(Comptroller's Military Service Records, No. 1420; No. 965 Brigham's work, State Library).

On October 9, 1836, at Columbia, Brenan collected from the Government the value of his rifle lost when made prisoner with Fannin's command, on the following certificate and receipt:

'This is to certify that Wm. Brenan lost a rifle gun by the surrender of Coln Fannin's command, valued at twenty-five dollars.

'La Baca Sept. 9, 1836
Wm. L. Hunter of the San Antonio Greys.

W. D. Thompson
1st Brigade T. V. A.

'Recd of A. Brigham, auditor, a draft on the Treasurer in my favour for twenty-five dollars in full for this amount.
'Columbia, Oct 9, l836
Wm. Brenan.'

(Comptroller's Military Service Records, No. 1036; Brigham's No. 580, State Library).

Another certificate, signed Wm. Brenan, and dated May 14, 1838, stated that he knew Dr. Hart (or Hoit) and believes that he was killed at San Patricio. In 1838 Brenan was a member of the third Congress of the Republic of Texas, and during the sessions of Congress evinced much interest in clearing up doubtful points concerning Fannin's men. There is reason to believe that he contributed to placing with Pettus' Company several soldiers whose services could not otherwise be proved. Numerous certificates signed by him may be found in the Land Office muster rolls. His personal signature, wherever found, is always 'Wm. Brenan.'"

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.

Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. David Murphree

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Brennan
  • Birthplace: Ireland
  • Origin: Ireland
  • Came to Texas: 1835 Dec
  • Date of Death: 1839
  • Other Battles: Bexar, Coleto, Goliad Massacre
  • Bounty Certificate: 2599